Cinco de Mayo – Buen Provecha

We celebrated a week or so early.

I made Mexican rice, guacamole, tortillas, strawberry shortcake and of course margaritas.

The Mexican rice recipe can be found in any of the many Diana Kennedy cookbooks. She is an authority on Mexican cuisine and I had the pleasure of taking a cooking course from her about twelve years ago.









Fitted Sheets

I have only one set of sheets that came with a fitted sheet. I really don’t like them as a rule because I find that the corners eventually tear overtime. I also hate trying to fold them so that look nice in my linen closet.

Check out this segment from Martha Stewart. I tried this method this morning and it worked. Here is the link and a photo of my fitted sheet.

Strawberry Jam

I was at Costco today and they had beautiful U.S. grown strawberries. I bought a whole flat and decided when I got home to make strawberry jam.

I got the recipe from the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders. This is my “jam bible”. I used the recipe on page 177 called “Children’s Strawberry Jam”. It is just a good old-fashioned strawberry jam with nothing but strawberries, white sugar and lemon juice. If you are a novice or experienced jam maker, get this book. I ordered mine from












France Meets Italy: “puff pizza”

This is something I made up on the spot. I make my own puff pastry and freeze it, but you can buy it at the supermarket and thaw it in the fridge.

Chill the dough for at least thirty minutes and then prick with a fork all over. Brush olive oil all over the pastry and and place crumbled goat cheese and slices tomatoes on top. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cover with shredded basil.

I am serving it with a Boston lettuce salad.








Sometimes You Change Your Mind

This past winter I decided to paint my bedroom vanity green. I lived with it for a few months trying to convince myself I loved the color. Yesterday, I decided I didn’t really love it. I had some leftover paint in the basement from when the hallways were painted last month. I loved the color on the walls so I decided to repaint the vanity.

I gave it a rough sanding and applied two coats of paint.

Here are the before and after photos.




Tonight I am feasting on the “remains”. Quiche is a great way to use up leftovers. I usually just forage around the fridge and see what I have.

Today I am using porcini mushrooms, diced shallots and sun-dried tomatoes.

I sauteed the shallots and mushrooms and then let them cool completely.

I use the pastry recipe from Jim Dodge which I put on the blog with the apple tart recipe on January 22. Just omit the 2 tsp of sugar and 1/4 tsp kosher and substitute 1 tsp of sea salt.

Roll out the pastry and chill it for about thirty minutes while you prepare your toppings. The pastry has to be “blind-baked”. I line the pastry shell with foil and beans and bake it at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and return to the oven. Bake about 5 to 10 minutes more. Keep on eye on it. It can get dark very quickly. You are looking for a nice golden brown color. Cook the cooked pastry shell on a wire rack for a few minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

I use Gruyere cheese on the bottom of the cooked shell. Just grate around 1/4 cup and spread it evenly on the bottom of the cooked pastry shell.

Combine three large eggs in a two cup glass measuring cup and add enough half and half cream to equal 1 1/2 cups of custard. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste and whisk with a fork.

Spread the cooled mushrooms, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes over the cheese and then very carefully pour the “custard” into the pastry shell. Immediately return to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove from tart pan and serve with a simple salad. Any leftovers are great for lunch the next day.